Speaking at a seminar at Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) a strategic issues think–tank based in Islamabad, former Defence Secretary retired Lt Gen Naeem Khalid Lodhi assured those present of Pakistan’s Second Strike Capability against India – a military term meaning that Pakistan is in a position to defend itself should its land based nuclear Arsenal be neutralized.
His remarks were made in response to concerns raised about the superiority of India in this regard and the options for Pakistan.
Rtd Gen Lodi, assured his audience that despite the growing military superiority of India, they should remember that Pakistan is on a par with India in terms of nuclear capabilities and that Pakistan has a formidable nuclear deterrence system because of our second strike capability, efficient delivery systems and effective command and control system.
However, Gen Lodhi, refrained from going into further details about what exactly constitutes Pakistan’s second strike capability or whether it was land, sea or air based, nor did he drop any clues as to whether Pakistan was any closer to achieving a submarine based “assured second strike capability” considering that India is known to be working towards this.
On his part President of the SVI, Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema, said that Pakistan has taken steps towards improving its second strike capability with the deployment of Hatf-V11/Baber nuclear capable missiles that can be launched from aircrafts and Submarines.
He also mentioned that Pakistan’s second strike capability is further assured with the deployment of Hatf-V111/Ra’ad air launch cruise missiles.
However, Dr Cheema conceded that the ideal mode of second strike capability would be the Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM’s) something he claims Pakistan as well as India are yet to attain.